Understanding the Knox/Sollecito verdict

For those who have been reading my blog (thank you, by the way) it will not come as a surprise when I say I am less then wholly satisfied with the today’s acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. I’m very much with the unruly mob shouting “shame!” outside the courthouse this evening. In spirit, you understand.

I don’t even believe this is a case where a court has erred with two left feet on the wrong side of the fine line between technical and reasonable doubt. I’ll not go into the detail of the evidence, since, over the next few days, that will undoubtedly be done thousands of times with greater inaccuracy than I could ever achieve. But perhaps it suffices to give the view that it is such that no acquittal could have been possible under normal circumstances.

It won’t be possible to know how the decision of the court was reached until it publishes its detailed motivation report. But I find it hard to imagine how it will make sense. The disheartening expectation I have, which I think others will share, it that it will offer the reasoning of a court that has crumpled under the pressure of a public relations campaign. A humiliating day for Italy.

And, of course, a heartbreaking tragedy if you are able to spare a thought for the Kercher family. Tomorrow, one of their daughter’s murderers will fly home to ticker-tape and a small fortune. Another, like the drummer in successful rock band, will take a smaller share of the royalties, but the proceeds, taking into account possible government compensation, may still be enough so that he is at liberty to choose whether or not he ever wants to work in his life or not. Merdith Kercher’s death seems almost reduced to the level of a smart career move.

Today’s verdict will undoubtedly, however, be appealed. That’s more than a speculative exercise, since it does happen than people are acquitted at first appeal and then found guilty by Italy’s supreme court. But the focus of the second appeal will be much narrower, restricted only to questions of law and logic. Although that is construed fairly widely in the Italian system, what it means is that the decision of the appeal court can’t be corrected simply because it is wrong. It will have to be shown to be legally unsound before any evidence can be re-examined. Until the motivation report from the appeal is published, it is impossible to say what the chances of the prosecutors succeeding in a further appeal might be.

The case, because it has had such a high profile, may have ramifications in Italy for two reasons.

Firstly, even though the reasons for the decision will not officially be known for a few weeks, it can be assumed that the court has rejected entirely the forensic evidence provided by the police. That’s not a small matter. As in most European countries, forensic testing in Italy in centralised, so an implication of the verdict may be that the entire forensic science set-up in the country is simply not fit for purpose or, at least, it wasn’t at the time of the investigation. A modern forensic science service ought to be able to handle DNA evidence that, as in this case, comes from a very small sample or from an item that had lain in situ for some weeks without difficulty. The Italian police would undoubtedly claim that their forensic teams are as capable as any in the world. I’m not in a position to deny that. But, from a practical point-of-view, if the whole of the scientific aspect of a prosecution is capable of simply crumbling in court, it must be important to try to understand why that happened.

Secondly, reform of the judicial system in Italy is a very live issue, in no small part because Silvio Berlusconi stands accused of various crimes and so he has made judicial reform a priority. I think it is unlikely that Italian public opinion will be behind today’s verdict and it will be seen by many as an example of how Italian justice is far too lenient with defendants.

Personally, I think Italy should take caution before making too reactionary an interpretation of the Knox/Sollecito case. It may be fair to point out that Italian appeals can tend to be slanted so that the focus for live examination is selected aspects of the defence case, so that much of the prosecution case takes a back seat. And there may be some room for quibbling about certain evidentiary rules applied in the case (the exclusion from evidence of Knox’s false allegations against Patrick Lumumba, for example). But the decision today can’t just be about a systematic problem. The automaticity of appeals in Italy may indeed favour defendants. But, surely, a guilty person ought to remain guilty regardless of how may re-trials are granted.

If, like me, you’re disheartened by today’s verdict, then I don’t really have much to offer by way of consolation, except the observation that justice is not always done and that’s something we have to live with. And at least you know, next time you kill someone, to think about who is going to do your PR before you think about who your lawyer is going to be.

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95 Responses to Understanding the Knox/Sollecito verdict

  1. Naseer says:

    For today, all I have to say is that my thoughts are with the Kerchers.

    Meredith Kercher, RIP.

  2. Peggy Ganong says:

    Mine as well. Excellent analysis Maundy. I think the next phase will be interesting and important, though it may happen in the absence of one of the two.

    • Allison says:

      My understanding is that it is possible that they could lose the next appeal. Can that appeal go ahead in the absence of Amanda [doubt she'll be back] if they lose the appeal and the US refuse to extradite her is it true that she will never be able to leave the States?

      • maundy says:

        There’s an extradition treaty between Italy and the US but, undoubtedly, any attempt to get her back in Italy would be vigorously fought. She could then end up being convicted in absentia, which would put her in a Roman Polanski situation. She wouldn’t necessarily be stuck in the States, but she would need to be careful about travelling. Maybe she’s seen enough of the world now, though.

  3. brmull says:

    Very well said Maundy. I would add that, bureaucracies being what they, Hellmann will find some way to label the investigation incompetent without labelling the institutions incompetent. He will find some way to rationalize Knox’s calunnia sentence. He will not admit that, by appointing independent experts to critique evidence that was known to be problematic, he practically guaranteed a failing grade. He will not acknowledge that by making said evidence the focus of the appeal, acquittal was a foregone conclusion. These are precisely the sorts of issues with which the Court of Cassation should be concerned. Then again, as Nadeau ironically put it, this case is about “justice” quote-unquote, not justice.

  4. Joan says:

    As an American living and working in Italy, I have to respectfully disagree with you that public opinion swayed the Judge and jury. I still have many questions about what happened that night, but the theory that these two young people met up with a drifter they hardly knew for some type of weird orgy is just ludicrous. Unless a better motive is uncovered, I will never be convinced that Knox and Raffaele were involved. I do feel for the Kercher family and I think their decision to remain low key during this appeal was admirable. They want the true offenders convicted, and I hope this happens for them.

    • bmull says:

      The defense took the prosecution’s early sex orgy idea and skillfully caricatured it to mock the prosecutions case. The drug-fueled “escalating cycle of violence” theory is completely consistent with the evidence and results in successful convictions every day.

      • maundy says:

        I just feel the need to pick you up on a detail, bmull. It was never a theory of the prosecution that Meredith Kercher died in sex orgy – it was a theory of the media. In fact, the police moved to clarify that a few days after the murder, stressing that she was the victim of a sex attack and was “morally innocent”, as can be seen from this report. “Sex orgy” is one of those things that has been repeated so many times that journalists don’t bother to fact-check it any more.

    • Prufrock says:

      @Joan:

      the absence of motive or justifyable motive is not a prerequisite for a murder conviction.

      The true offenders have walked!

  5. Lynn Rimmer says:

    Thanks Maundy for your intelligent, lucid, sane and compassionate comments.
    I do feel disheartened, but not as much as the poor Kerchers I suspect.
    Very, very sad.

  6. Ms Coles says:

    I, for one am totally satisfied with todays verdict. DNA for example, was not convincing – whilst detergent washes most off, I can assure you the quantity left on that Knife could have been from frequent use or simply by it not being bagged early enough.

    • maundy says:

      We’ll have to wait for the judge’s report to see what kind of reasoning has been applied in the case of the knife. But it can’t be either of the things you are suggesting, Ms Coles, because the knife was recovered from a drawer in a kitchen in building where Kercher had never been. Yet her DNA was found on the blade. It can’t have got there from frequent use or from not being bagged early enough. DNA doesn’t just spontaneously grow on evidence.

      • Allison says:

        Thanks Maundy, as succinct as always
        Whateverthe courts say, they will now live in a
        prison of their own making. I remember
        asking my mother if she believed in hell,
        she said she believes hell is not a place,
        but your conscience, imagine being in either
        of their heads at 2am in the morning when
        they can’ sleep!!

      • ik says:

        I believe that the DNA evidence on the blade of the knife was only a partial match with that of Meredith Kercher and therefore would be a partial match for many other people. I’m not sure it was conclusive enough to remove reasonable doubt. This is conjecture, but it seems to me that if Knox and Sollecito made an effort to clean the crime scene they would have made a better effort to hide a murder weapon. From what I have read the prosecution claimed there were knife wounds consistent with three different blades, the only one used in evidence was found in Sollecito’s kitchen draw and the other two are nowhere to be found. That for me does not add up. If Knox and Sollecito had made the other knives disappear would they hide the last one in his kitchen? I do not believe so. It is very hard not to have reasonable doubt in this case as all prosecution evidence seems inconclusive.

      • maundy says:

        Hi IK. The DNA on the knife was a full match to Kercher. That’s not disputed by anyone and you can see it very clearly from this image, which overlays her DNA with that found on the knife.

        You may have some kind of point regarding the knives (although, just on a trivial note, it is alleged to have been two knives, not three). There are two things to note, though. Firstly, I actually think a cutlery drawer is a good place to hide a knife. Secondly, the knife, although it is usually described as belonging to Sollecito, actually came with the flat, so he might have been worried about his landlord giving evidence that it was there when he moved in, had he disposed of it.

      • ik says:

        Thanks for your reply I had not seen that particular document before.

        Regarding the knife coming from Sollecito’s flat I can see a cutlery draw could seem a good hiding place at first thought however it would be the first place authorities would look for if searching for a knife that was consistent with a kitchen knife (as opposed to a hunting knife or pen knife).

        You are correct, it is certainly possible he was worried about the knife being missing from the apartment inventory however it is equally possible Sollecito was not in the cottage on the night of the murder and the knife was taken and returned without his knowledge or consent. Something about a ‘silver bullet’ piece of evidence that could convict him to life in prison being sat in his kitchen just doesn’t quite add up for me. Especially if the knife could be linked to the scene and the victims DNA linked to the blade. It is very curious.

    • ik says:

      This is an interesting website by the way. I for one am not swayed either way regarding guilt or innocence of the accused, I’m merely asking questions which come to mind to which there may be long discussed answers.

  7. Allison says:

    This is the outcome I have long feared! The mistakes made by the forensics [numbering and forgetting to collect the bra clasp!!!] were both unbelievable and unforgivable. You put it so well when you say that this horrific murder was nothing but a good career move for them. My heart goes out to the Kercher’s, how will they ever get peace? They just look so sad. Knox saved Sollecito’s bacon, no doubt about that .. from the day they were arrested he sat back and let her take the flak. One final point, they know what they did. Each of them knows the scale of their own involvement and it will eat at their souls. Imagine living your whole life carrying a burden such as that and never being able to discuss it with anyone.

    • sjc says:

      It will come out someday. They will tell someone they think they can trust. I also think that Rudy may spill now that he sees they got off. I can’t wait to see how Amanda comes across in inevitable upcoming onslaught of interviews and media appearances (Dancing with the Stars next season? Wanna bet?) Surely her narcissism and poor social filters will make themselves apparent. Sigh.

    • cjp says:

      Hi, Allison, sadly, I believe the idea of this eating at their souls is something we tell ourselves as a means of self-comfort.
      The prisons are not filled with insomniacs, awake at night, gnashing teeth with regret and remorse.
      In order for a conscience to feel the prick of guilt, one must first possess a conscience. On this, the jury is still out.

  8. Brad Casali says:

    Maundy,

    Great analysis, as always. I am pretty shaken by the verdict, but I need to suspend my disbelieve until the motivations detailing the rationales for the overturning of the previous convictions are released. I think, in the meantime, I will go back and reread a few things; namely, the original Massei Report, Guede’s Supreme Court Final Appeal, and, the CV report (all provided translated graciously by the kind folks at PMF). I hope that my rereading of these in chronological order will help to have hope that Meredith’s true killers will have their convictions reinstated.

    As I said, it is rather moot to speculate now until the report comes out, but, perhaps someone knows. In appeal situations in Italy, is the totality of the evidence looked at, or just the evidence allowed to be argued at the appeal? I assume it is the latter because the Supreme Court level appeal sounds like it looks at everything and makes the final ruling whereas the middle appeal (after the first instance) must only look at the evidence involved in that appeal only.

    The judge basically read that she and he had ‘non avere comesso il fatto.’ Basically, that they didn’t do it. It seems like, however, that that kind of judgement can only be made with the totality of the evidence and not only just the evidence allowed in for the appeal. This leads me to believe that Hellman looked at the totality because if they just looked at the bra clasp, the knife, and eye witness testimony, that would be more like establishing reasonable doubt, not necessarily saying they didn’t do it.

    • Allison says:

      Hi Brad, my understanding is that this [first] appeal only looked at the bra clasp, eye witness and the knife i.e. the weakest links. Seems odd to me – obviously the weakest points are going to be hardest to contest. I believe the next appeal [the 2nd and final] will only look at points of law to establish if the trial was conducted fairly.

  9. Great post, some really interesting points. I have to say, I’m really not sure if they are guilty or not, the trial is so complex. I just feel for the Kercher family, who have to relive the loss off their daughter and sister in full gaze of the world’s media.

  10. Sara says:

    Thank you for all your clear, objective posts throughout the process Maundy. I am completely disheartened by the verdict just like many others. In fact, found it difficult to sleep last night thinking about the Kerchers. On the other hand, I can’t say I am too impressed by the way the prosecutors handled the case this time. I think it only helped to create “reasonable doubt” in the mind of jurors. I think when you have a jury made up of common men and women who can’t understand the technical jargon, it is important to give them intelligent points to think about in simple terms. Simply reiterating that Amanda was a witch, she-devil in disguise etc wasn’t going to sway the jurors, especially when all they can see as evidence are the prosecutors words and a frail, sweet looking girl sobbing for all she’s worth. Also, attacking the credibility of the experts after the DNA report was not very clever according to me. They should have attacked the findings and not the finders. If I was in the jury, I would be thinking “So, just because they said you made a mistake, they are incompetent?”. They also wasted valuable time stressing unimportant points such as the role of media, how Amanda couldn’t look at Meredith’s body’s pictures etc. The jurors don’t need reminding to ignore the media circus and just because someone cannot look at a crime scene picture doesn’t mean they did it. I can’t look at it either and I am sure most of the jurors felt sick looking at them too. In fact, pointing out such a thing might have made the jurors feel that a person who can’t even look at it is definitely not capable of doing it (which is probably what Amanda was playing at).
    I am no expert and it is not my place to make comments about things I have no clue about. But whenever I read the reports of daily proceedings, I was getting increasingly frustrated thinking “When are they going to bring on the points which cannot be explained”. We all know about the false accusations and Amanda’s explanations for it. But what about the fact that she told the police that Meredith always locked her door and there was no need to worry, while on the other hand claiming in her mail that she banged on the door and nearly killed herself trying to look through Meredith’s window from the balcony? What is a realistic scenario in which Meredith’s DNA could end up on Raffeale’s knife or his DNA on her bra clasp, mistakes and secondary contamination notwithstanding? I think instead of going over the top about Amanda’s “witchism” which was difficult to believe anyway, the prosecutors should have utilized the time to stress on points which the defense could not explain away and which the jury could ponder over intelligently. Again, they might have done all this and there could be many reasons behind their approach which in my ignorance, I fail to see. But all in all, as a normal person witnessing the proceedings, I did not see anything new that gave me food for thought except that the DNA evidence might be unreliable.

    • Allison says:

      Hi Sara, I agree with you on so many points[including the sleepless night]. But my understanding is that they were only allowed discuss three aspects of the trial i.e. the knife, the bra clasp and the eye witness account. So they couldn’t go over anything else [I could be wrong there but I don't think so], so that is all that the jury were allowed to consider I don’t think the prosecution had much room for manoevre which is what it makes it so unfair. I think that;s what Arline meants when she said she doesn’t understand what happened to the rest of the evidence. My heart breaks for that poor family,

      • Sara says:

        Thanks for the clarification Allison. Even so, I feel they could have stressed more upon the fact that it is realistically not possible that Raffeale’s DNA ends up on Meredith’s bra clasp, of all the places. Even with secondary contamination and everything, I don’t see how it is so easy to accept that it is a,likely place. Same for knife DNA. What I feel is that rather than discussing about Amanda’s “witchism” and “she-devilism”, the prosecutors should have focussed more on things which the defense could not explain away with comments like “she is just a jessica rabit”. With Amanda giving an oscar worthy performance, that line of argument was never going to get them anywhere. As far as I know, even the defense did not attempt to explain or construct a scenario as to how the DNA could have landed up on the bra clasp which means they probably weren’t able to come up with anything logical. However, this fact was probably lost on the jurors in the middle of all the other wild and unnecessary arguments. I could be mistakes again but I think the focus was completely wrong.

    • The Rector of Stiffkey says:

      Lucid as always, m’dear Maundy.

      I suspect that Helmann’s motivazioni will not be just about reliability (late witnesses, forensics) but very much — particularly regarding early witness statements — about admissibility.

      As a I remarked in an earlier post all parties including the bench were aware of the permissibility, thus the possibility, and now the certainty, of an appeal to the Cassazione.

      These –issibilities will be at the heart of the Cassazione’s decision; far less than the perceived kissability of at least one of the defendants, if that indeed played any part in the present appeal.

      It’s not just the “pisseurs de copie” who are to blame. Mignini has reaped as he sowed. Almost all the verbali taken within the first three days were leaked to a press eager for cliché-ed studend lifestyle stories when the general assumption was of a break-in-gone-wrong by an “immigrant” (and we know what that means). More amazingly verbatim quotations from Knox’s verbali appeared in the national press on the day after she was arrested (as , i.a., the piece from the Corriere you cited testifies). How did the journalists get hold of them, I wonder? And why?

      The Cassazione will confine itself to the legal –iblities, but Pratillo Hellman has sent a message that the Prosecution shot itself in the foot. Whether fatally, we shall see.

      • Allison says:

        Hi RoS, Lyle Kercher stated today that Migini will have to ask his boss for approcal to proceed to the Cassazione. Have you heard this?

  11. diatom says:

    Maundy,
    Appreciate the sobriety and pace of your comments.I’ve been surfing for a while today and did not see much useful stuff about the bleach with respect to cleaning activity;I saw a reference to the police implying[or better] that the flat had been ‘cleaned’,but not much else.
    I read that only one set of Knox’s fingerprints had been found in the flat,with very little else on that.
    As my daughter says,’DNA evidence is only a strand of evidence,it may be powerful,but still only a strand’.If there is substantial and meaningful accompanying evidence,to disregard it by zooming on faulty DNA processing in an appeal process is disingenuous.
    However,I suppose it[the quality of DNA processing] is a strong reflection of the diligence of police procedure,and failings here turn the process into a trial of police competence rather than suspects,where justice suffers.
    If facts can be obscured legally,which seem to be possible where the legal system is adverserial,justice suffers.

  12. Sara says:

    It seems Rudy Guede is now seeking a retrial. What a shambles.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/04/501364/main20115400.shtml

    • Allison says:

      Hi Sara, he should have spoken out when he had the chance – if he ends up being the only person serving time for this it’s his own fault. All he’d to do was name and shame – game over … Knox would be eating pasta for dinner for a very long time..

    • bmull says:

      As well he should. There is no good reason now to believe that his alibi might not be true. In fact anyone who was convicted on a police confession or Stefanoni’s DNA evidence should ask for a retrial. This is the natural consequence of Hellmann overturning a rock solid case and in the process discrediting the entire justice system.

      • Sara says:

        I agree. If she did not change gloves a million times in this case, who’s to say that she did so in any of the previous cases she handled. So, going by the logic of this case, it means that all those convictions could be wrong. Come to think of it, what’s to say any of the convictions anywhere in the world are right? The only way to correct this is to free all the criminals from all the prisons everywhere and start over. Oh, and make sure this time the experts change gloves.

      • Allison says:

        You are both right, of course he should appeal. I’m just mad at him too. I feel they’re all playing a game, in keeping quiet they’ve got off and now he has an appeal [he had exhausted all of his appeal], someone mentioned on another forum the other week that this could be a strategy of his. Good people have lost a daughter, sister and friend. I wonder how Stefanoni feels tonight..

  13. Carl says:

    Maundy, just want to thank you for your informative posts. Ive been following the case for years and balanced, intelligent analysis of all its aspects have been difficult to find on the internet. I hope you will keep posting your views until the last appeal is done.

    The verdict is puzzling, especially since it seems they were both found to be innocent. That seems incomprehensible when one considers there is no evidence to declare they had nothing to do with it (alibi of some sort). A “no evidence for their guilt” verdict would be understandable but not satisfying. I feel for the Kercher family who’s civil approach to the proceedings has been in stark contrast to the Knox family. I guess, like Meredith “they are everything the Knoxes are not”.

  14. Subbu says:

    Frank, I have been following your blog since the beginning. According to me, This case has been a MOCKERY OF COMMON SENSE and a MOCKERY OF THE JUDICIARY.

    {snipped}

    • maundy says:

      I don’t mean to cut you off in full flow, Subbu, but I think you may have the wrong blog.

      • GJ says:

        Judicious, Maundy!

        As for the acquittal, I think the reasoning provided in the motivations report may emphasize presumption of innocence, take the position that such a presumption was never afforded to the duo and say the only solution is to supply it retrospectively.

      • Sara says:

        A person who does not even have enough sense to check which blog he is posting to, claims that the case is a mockery of common sense. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so tragic.
        But you know Maundy, what gets me the most is how civilized and dignified you and others who think they are guilty are to the supporters when they happen to post on your forums. Most people who visit your blog, TJMK etc and try to support AK and RS are treated with respect and their queries are considered duly. Sadly, though, the same does not hold good for the blogs supporting them at all. Whenever I have tried to raise my doubts or state my opinions on those forums, I have either received nasty comments on the lines of “You don’t have a life and you are an idiot” or my comments have disappeared mysteriously. I think these behaviours a rather accurate reflection of how the Kerchers and the Knoxes are behaving. Makes me wonder sometimes if the knox supporters belong to some cult or something…they seem to be unable to behave rationally unless you are agreeing to everything they say.

  15. Prufrock says:

    @Maundy:

    great article and blogg.

    Frankly, as an italian i’m deeply ashamed of the outcome. I feel saddened for the Kerchers; italy has let them down.

    at the risk of apperaing to be a know-it-all, i predicted the acquital some 2 weeks ago on another site.

    I noted that many things just didn’t square-up. For example, the review of the DNA on just 2 items should not have been granted as this request ought to have been made at the first trial. Why wait for 2 years?

    What about all the other DNA evidence discovered of K/S? Why does this not count?

    Why is it that all DNA testing for Guede was not contested but for K/S ALL flawed?

    Why weren’t the prosecution allowed a re-testing?

    Since when has the absence of DNA at the crime scene dictate innocence or guilt?

    How independent where the experts, really?

    All in all, a very sad day for justice and Meredith.

  16. Satya says:

    What a shocking verdict! Miscarriage is a very civilized way of putting what is apparently a coerced one. It’s not hard to believe that ‘independent’ DNA experts may have been encouraged to discredit the original evidence. After all, Solecito’s father is supposedly a well known urologist and perhaps has back channel connections with these ‘experts’. This is Italy where the PM bends laws to suit his convenience.

    Probably this is to be expected in jury trials: when laymen and women are made to adjudicate over complex matters, they feel their importance enhanced when they are seen to be on the same side as the media — hence the innocent verdict. Confirming the sentence would have made them non-entities that they were. Now? maybe, they’ll get free trips to the US sponsored by friendly TV networks, and the likes of Trump, etc.

    Clearly, American seduction has worked!!!

    • Ben says:

      We definitely shouldn’t discount the possibility that in a corrupt society like Italy, the interpretation of DNA evidence might have been rigged to favour a particular outcome.

      There are two conflicting interpretations of the evidence: the original report which supposedly implicates Sollecito, and the review.

      Maybe the first report was true, and Sollecito’s father has some kind of influence on the experts. However, I’m not sure why a urologist would be able to influence forensic scientist.

      On the other hand, maybe the first report was improperly influenced by the prosecutor, Mignini, who has been convicted of abuse of his powers in the Monster of Florence case, when he pursued bogus a Satanic conspiracy theory, just like the one the prosecution originally proposed in this case.

      There’s solid evidence that Mignini will pursue outlandish conspiracy theories and bend the evidence to fit them. There’s no evidence that Sollecito’s father has done anything of the sort – I’m happy to be corrected if you have any.

      So in the light of this, which interpretation of the DNA evidence seems likely to be more reliable?

      • Satya says:

        The doctors do form a mutually supportive group — they are a clique; it is always specialists of a diverse kind that form the clique. For instance, why would one urologist refer his patient to another one (wouldn’t he giving away his business by doing so? they are that philanthropic)? rather he would send him to a cardiologist . Similarly, the urologist would know and wield some influence over the DNA expert.

        Ben, you have a slanted view. But if you know even a bit of human psychology, you will see that Amanda’s behaviour points to her guilt. That she got away (thanks to US media) does not prove her innocence, rather the reach of US power. But that too, hopefully will find a balance in the future as the world becomes more multi polar.

      • Ben says:

        What about her behaviour points to her guilt?

      • Satya says:

        Ben, please read the volumes that have been documented about Knox’s behaviour post murder. Makes no sense about having to reiterate them.

  17. Ben says:

    “no acquittal could have been possible under normal circumstances.” – on the contrary, it was the conviction of Knox and Sollecito that was the anomaly here.

    Try to step back and consider the evidence from first principles:

    There’s already Guede, a credible suspect, with a record of breaking and entering and carrying a knife, with copious forensic evidence indicating his guilt, who has already been convicted.

    A prosecutor with a track record of proposing Satanic conspiracies then tried to make a case that two young people who happened to live in the same house had also been involved. How likely is it that a young couple would team up with a drifter to do a sex murder, compared to the drifter acting alone? In the real world, as opposed to film noir, sex murders are far more commonly committed by lone men, or sometimes groups of men.

    All the *credible* physical evidence points to Guede – nothing puts the couple in the murder room. The “clean-up” theory would require that they could somehow selectively clean up their footprints, fingerprints, DNA, and body fluids while leaving Guede’s in place – clearly ridiculous. The idea that the break-in was staged, rather than a real break-in consistent with Guede’s previous behaviour, relies on sketchy photographic evidence about where glass was found, even though (a) there’s video evidence that the police handled the crime scene incompetently and might have moved it and (b) the “glass” that’s usually cited turned out to be a pattern on fabric.

    The Low Copy Number DNA findings can detect a single skin flake. The “Sollecito” DNA on Meredith’s bra was mixed with the DNA of three other men, so it’s clearly contamination – a cop transferring a Sollecito skin flake from elsewhere in the house, plus his own DNA, to the bra. The same goes for Knox’s DNA being on a knife that her boyfriend owned. Even if you believe the finding of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, all that means is that Knox touched the knife before it was used in the murder – it doesn’t put her at the scene.

    The presence of “mixed” Meredith/Amanda DNA in the bathroom, which is often presented as somehow significant, is *exactly* what you’d expect given that they shared the house.

    The “false allegations” about Lumumba were just a naive girl telling the police what *they* wanted to hear after hours of browbeating in a foreign language.

    All the other “evidence” of guilt is just noise and confirmation bias. Amanda, a naive eccentric, didn’t always react as you might expect – but somehow she’s also cunning enough to inveigle a drifter into a group murder then clean up everything that doesn’t point to him acting alone? Amanda didn’t let Meredith’s phone ring very long, and didn’t leave a message. A young couple turned their phones off before spending the night, and then in a stressful situation, Amanda called her mother at an odd time.

    Justice has already been done for Meredith with the conviction of Guede. Now justice has been done for Amanda too.

    • maundy says:

      Hi Ben. I can tell you’ve been spending time one of the Free Amanda websites, because you post is basically a list of made-up “facts” about the case, and your description of Kercher’s bedroom as “the murder room” (as if it was purpose-built or something) is dead giveaway.

      So, it was never a theory of the prosecution that Kercher’s death was anything to do with either a satanic conspiracy or a sex game. Try finding a quote from them that says either of these things. As I noted above, the police in fact made expressly clear immediately following the murder that rumours in the media to this effect were false, and that Kercher was the victim of an attack to which she did not at any stage consent (see the article from the Telegraph linked to above).

      The prosecution also did not have a “clean-up theory”. Evidence for a staged burglary was presented but this came in various forms, which you can get a flavour of from this post. The evidence about glass being on top of ransacked belongings came in the form of witness testimony from one of the other flatmates and from the Postal Police, who were first on the scene. It’s not a matter of “sketchy photographic evidence”.

      Even though Guede had no prior convictions prior to participating in the murder, I can accept your right to pursue the theory of him as a career burglar (he is black, after all). But you seem to be suggesting that the staged crime scene looked like that because that’s how Guede’s burglaries always looked. How do you reach this conclusion?

      I’ve posted quite a bit about the DNA evidence, so I’d ask you to read through that rather than go into technical discussion. But Sollecito’s DNA was not found mixed with that of three other men. It was the only trace of DNA found in significant quantity (apart from Meredith’s), with a faint trace of other DNA of unknown origin. What you say about the knife actually seems fairly reasonable to me, but think about what you’re implying. The alternative is that someone (Guede, maybe) somehow took Sollecito’s knife from his house, used it in the murder, cleaned it and then returned it. How would he have done this?

      Lastly, Knox’s false accusation of Lumumba (for which, don’t forget, she remains convicted) was given at some point during an interview which as 2 ¼ hours at most, during which she drank chamomile tea.

      Thanks for your post, though.

    • GJ says:

      Just look at what this poster says: “even if you believe the finding of Meredith’s DNA on the blade, all that means is that Knox touched the knife before it was used in the murder – it doesn’t put her at the scene…”

      You see what’s happening, with this modern science? It’s not exposing criminals. It’s helping them cover tracks. The case might have been stronger pre-DNA! Yet now that we have DNA, contamination or even the suggestion of contamination negates it and with it entire cases. Cases that, like I say, might well have been strong before the early nineties when it was possible to incorporate this nature of evidence.

      If your DNA was there and it cannot be shown that it was contaminated, then we look at the rest of the evidence. But if there’s the slightest suspicion your DNA was contaminated, you weren’t there. Not to mention that if your DNA isn’t there, you weren’t there. People have come to believe that DNA is the most important part of a case..

      I know that pre-DNA they were equally fussy about needing to find fingerprints or some physical evidence tying a person to scene. But it seems like the more sophisticated physical evidence collection becomes, the more it can be challenged. This needs to be thought about carefully, in terms of how this science elaborates itself over the 21st century.

      • Allison says:

        Couldn’t agree more GJ, what amazes me about the appeals process is that they were allowed to take [for all intents and purposes] the ‘weak links’ in the prosecution and didn’t consider anything else. As someone said on another forum the other day I would like Ben or one of his counterparts to defendKnoxAmanda without using the word DNA in a sentence.

      • Ben says:

        What I’m saying is that finding somebody’s DNA where it would have been innocently doesn’t tell you anything. If Sollecito had been involved, but not Knox, then her DNA could still have been on the knife, because she could have cooked with it.

        Finding Guede’s DNA in semen recovered from Meredith’s body is more compelling evidence, because there’s no scenario where that could have happened innocently.

      • maundy says:

        Ben, you really should check your facts more. No semen was recovered from the body.

      • Ben says:

        Well, Guede’s DNA was found on and inside her body, right? I assumed that was semen, maybe it was his blood. Doesn’t change the point I’m making.

      • Brad Casali says:

        I believe it was epithelial cells.

      • maundy says:

        Maybe, maybe not, Ben, but you’re basing your arguments on an understanding of the case which is like Swiss cheese.

      • Ben says:

        Nothing you’ve claimed I’ve got wrong really changes the main force of the argument – there’s good forensic evidence for one suspect, but no credible forensic evidence for the others who were supposedly equally involved.

        Also, you’ve claimed that the prosecutor didn’t say there was a “sex game” or a “clean-up”, but he did, as I’ve shown, so I’m not sure whether your understanding of the case is as good as you claim.

  18. GJ says:

    Well, that part of what you’re saying is absolutely fine Ben.

    It’s okay for Amanda’s DNA to be on the knife she may have cooked with, in the bathroom she frequented etc.

    But then you get to Meredith’s DNA being on the knife too, in a flat she never visited.

    Do you say: that is strange – it was one thing Amanda’s DNA being on the knife, but Meredith’s?

    No, you say it must be fake DNA, or too little DNA or DNA that was picked up at the murder scene and carried to the suspect’s flat by incompetent or sinister police work.

    And you have the court on your side. They reckon something like that must happened. Otherwise it’s not possible for contamination to occur. I’m dubious – and moreover I irritated that it distracts from the mountain of other evidence which you have failed to confront!

    • Ben says:

      You’re forgetting that contamination could happen in the lab. We know Meredith’s DNA was in the lab. The knife was in the lab. That’s where the contamination could have occurred. Maundy himself said that in his post on this topic.

      In fact, when they use the ultrasensitive LCN DNA tests, they need to control for that sort of contamination because it’s common. They didn’t do the controls.

      • Brad Casali says:

        Actually, contamination is not common just in LCN. It’s common in any type of PCR tests.

        Your usage of ultrasensitive is not accurate either. LCN PCR is essentially PCR, just with a few more cycles. It’s the same technology, just drawn out longer to account for lower than normal template of DNA.

        And yes, I have a Master’s in pharmacology and have worked with PCR for years.

      • maundy says:

        They do appear to have done the controls, just that the court-appointed experts either weren’t provided with the documents by the judge or else missed them. Overall though, it seems to me that questions about the standards applied in the lab are unanswered, because they were not sufficiently gone into in court. One of the court experts, Vecchiotti, did indicate, though, that contamination was not likely to have occurred in the lab.

      • Stringer Bell says:

        Right, LCN is a kind of PCR that can detect much lower amounts of DNA. Hence you need to be more careful about contamination. Nothing you’re saying contradicts my point.

        I would like to see a source for the claim that the controls were done. If they were done, wouldn’t the details be part of the records of the original trial?

      • maundy says:

        Hi Stringer. There’s details of what was discussed about this in court in this article, if you read Italian. It seems to be that they were part of the records of the original trial documentation, but it’s unclear whether they were part of the documentation taken forward for appeal and whose fault that might be. We’ll probably have to wait for the appeal judge’s report to get a full picture. But it seems clear that the control documents do exist.

      • GJ says:

        What Ben? I’m not forgetting, I’m conceding. Conceding the court endorses a certain amount of what you’re saying, with their acquittal.

        But I’m also making some points about the vagaries of DNA or at least DNA politics. I don’t see the point of scientific rigor in criminal investigations if it can always be attacked one way or the other and end up being meaningless! Of course there are cases when scenes are contaminated. Had I been on the OJ Jury there is no WAY I would have convicted him after what came out about the scene and detective. But I don’t feel there was any real negligence here on the part of those capturing the Kercher scene. Maybe I am wrong.

  19. Satya says:

    This is a classic (tragic) case where the courts have demonstrated that they aren’t staffed with bright people. Why, one must ask, would an ‘innocent’ Knox who claims to have been cooking and making love to her boyfriend on the night of the murder, change her versions of her alibi so many times. And why, would she eventually blame a black man (Lumumba) of the murder? She is not a timid girl and if she were truthful, I’m sure that she would have
    confidently told her story and stuck to it. Why would she be nervous in the police station and do somersaults?

    But people such as Knox have a way of going too far, for it is in their nature.

    Anyone remember van der sloot? Amanda’s ‘twin’?
    He got away once, but tripped the second time and is doing time in Chile now!

    • Allison says:

      Hi Satya, I also hope she’ll slip up but i’m not sure how. I doubt she’ll kill again, I’ve always thought that this was opportunistic not pre-meditated. I think the best that we can hope for is that she’ll confess to someone she thinks that she can trust, but even then – would they come forward? She has a long life ahead of her and she has a very distinctive name. People will always wonder and she’ll see that in their attitude. I wouldn’t want her to marry into my family and I certainly wouldn’t want my kids in her company!! I’d say Dr Sollecito couldn’t get Rafaele away from her quick enough on Monday night.

      Skeptical Bystander made a good post on TJMK this afternoon, apparently the ‘press conference’ was largely staged to make is sound like there was more people there than there was, a live feed was interrupted and their press officer could be heard asking for more cheers..

      • Satya says:

        Allison, sure she wont murder again — at least not deliberately. But such people have a tendency to get carried away and I believe it was this that led to the murder and what will in the future lead her to more trouble. Van der Sloot is a very similar personality type. Their self-assuredness and dishonesty helps them to convince people of their ‘innocence’. I can’t read about the verdict and not feel deeply disturbed and violated at such a farce of a trial. But given that the mafia thrives in that country must make this more understandable, though not excusable.

        And this is bad press for the US as well, what with the loss of face in Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent efforts to appear as humble and reasonable. IT reinforces European stereotypical perceptions of Americans. What a shame!

        I hope and pray that in the next trial justice prevails and the guilty are punished.

      • diatom says:

        The BBC reported on a ‘cavalcade’ of cars[I could only see 1 def and maybe a second]taking her home.Certainly the ecstatic welcoming thousands implied by the ‘fawning media’ must have gone home by the time she arrived.I was surprised by how few people were about.
        It is maddening that some parts of the media were blatantly inflating this as people watched.
        What is going on?And where else does this media inflation distortion happen-this ‘cooking’ of stories?
        My daughter[again]said that a ‘strong’American TV personality,Nancy Grace,said that the Amanda Fox verdict was ‘a miscarriage of justice’, to my daughter’s surprise[she spent some time in the US].
        Maybe the media’s American bias is not representative.

      • Allison says:

        Thanks Satya, I hope you are right. I was talking to my friend last night [on another matter] and she reminded me that life is long. In applying it to this case I can see there is plenty of time for her to slip up. I think she believes her own PR and tthat will be her downfall.

  20. Allison says:

    Excellent article from BLN in the Daily Beast, read the comments underneath, if this is the general feeling in the States AK may start to think she should have stayed in her cell.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/04/meredith-kercher-family-interview-mother-siblings-in-shock-at-knox-verdict.html

  21. Jes says:

    The defense team took the weakest evidence to court, because it was the hardest evidence the prosecution had. Nothing else linked the couple to the murder scene.

    It’s not that uncommon for Italian police to come up with a theory for a crime, and then find evidence to support it (like the bra clasp that suddenly shows up 47 days into the investigation). In stead of working the other way around.

    It also seems crazy that the forensic experts in Perugia didn’t consult other experts in Italy considering the fact it was a high profile case. Any attorney in the US would have done so. They would have told them the evidence was not credible.

    I feel so sorry for the Kercher family still believing Fox was a part of Migninis sex game theory. (Mignini saying it was a sex game gone wrong: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5537365.ece). We will never know the truth. Whatever Guede says in a new trial will be discredited, as he has changed his story so many times.

    And finally, Maundy. If you belive in courts and justice, it’s not fair of you to call Amanda Fox a murderer, as she was acquited. That’s called slander.

    • Brad Casali says:

      She technically is not anything yet. The Supreme Court has to rule on her final guilt or innocence.

    • maundy says:

      I take your point about “murderer”, Jes, but in context I don’t think it would have made sense to talk about how difficult it would be for the Kercher family to see two perfectly innocent people walk free.

    • Prufrock says:

      @Jes:

      Knox is NOT acquitted until the Supreme Court sings! They have yet to sing!

      I’m guessing that you’re american; I’m italian. i find it audacious and somewhat arrogant for you to suggest: “It’s not that uncommon for Italian police to come up with a theory for a crime, and then find evidence to support it (like the bra clasp that suddenly shows up 47 days into the investigation)”

      Really? what are you suggesting that the police ‘planted’ it there 47 days later and placed S’s DNa on it? Please !

      Some poor black man, in Florida was released from jail after 32 years after DNA proved him innocent. We have the Toby Davies case (see below) Oj Simpson and LITERALLY scores of cases in the US where police and juries have got it wrong.

      You should research the stuff-ups with DNA testing in your country.

      Then this gem: “Nothing else linked the couple to the murder scene.”

      So i guess the height of the lowest bar to convict a person of murder, for you, is that you MUST have the accused DNA present at the murder scene? Are you serious? Then why was Davies executed? His DNA was not present at the crime scene either; not even 22 years later!

      But there is more:”It also seems crazy that the forensic experts in Perugia didn’t consult other experts in Italy considering the fact it was a high profile case.” The experts were called! The forensic lab resides in Rome, carries out about 4-5K of lab tests per year and the ONLY failure was K/S? I note that Guede’s tests were NOT contested. But then his DNA is black!

      But i have reserved your best comment for last! “Whatever Guede says in a new trial will be discredited, as he has changed his story so many times.” …. unlike Knox and Sollecito, right?

      Jes, you feel/think Knox is innocent?. Great!

      But please, when you start comparing the US to Italy (or any other country) can you please show a bit of restraint? Your ignorance is only surpassed by your hypocracy.

    • Allison says:

      Jess, you’ve obviously just joined the Amanda cause, you didn’t even get her name right [it's Knox btw] Foxy Knoxy is [you call her Fox twice in your post] is her nickname. We all know that the US has the fairest legal system in the world [sarcasm here in case you missed it] I’m sure Casey Anthony and OJ would agree with you on that.

  22. cjp says:

    How’s this for a theory:
    Amanda and Raf find themselves with nothing to do. On a whim, and possibly a little giddy with weed, they decide to get Meredith’s keys to the downstairs apartment and filch some of the marijuana down there.
    Meredith is ‘housesitting’ the place for her boyfriend, and watering his marijuana plants, so she has the key.

    Now, they need Meredith to be home in order to get her set of keys, but it won’t do if she comes home with somebody, so they decide to wait in the park to see if she comes home alone. While they’re waiting, guess who comes along? Guede. He wants to know what’s up, and, what the hell, he knows what goes on in the downstairs apartment, and the more the merrier, so they include him in their little escapade. Keep her distracted while one of us gets the keys, after all nobody will be any the wiser, who are the guys gonna tell, anyway.
    So they wait for Meredith to come home, and good luck, she’s alone.
    So Meredith goes in, and Amanda and her group follow closely after. Guede needs to use the bathroom, Meredith goes to the refrigerator for a mushroom, and she hears Guede, who stepped into her bedroom, and she catches him out trying to get the keys. She’s not afraid at first. After all, Amanda’s there, so she confronts him, she’s going to call the police. He grabs her, tries to keep her from the phone, but she’s strong, and she fights him. He panics, calls for Amanda and Raf’s help, and now he’s screwed the pooch, because Meredith now knows they’re all in this together.
    She’s injured, she struggling and there is no way anybody is going to be able to explain this away, unless..
    They try to make it look like something else happened. Poor Meredith’s clothes are removed. She’s moved, and it is made to look as if the assault was a random sexual attack. At this point Amanda tells Guede to take the money, or maybe she did, and the phones and toss them somewhere. Leave, she tells him, get out of here.
    And the clean-up and staging begin.
    Guede already has the best deal he’s going to get with his sentence, there’s no reduction coming, so why admit to anything? Amanda and Raf aren’t going to tell, because, after all, they’re as innocent as the driven snow, so what are they going to gain. After all, the burglary was their idea to begin with, so why admit to anything.
    As far as I know, her keys are still missing.
    I never believed in the idea of a pre-meditated sex crime. Yes, it’s speculation, but it’s also an easily believable motive.

    • Sara says:

      You know, I could believe this. From the very beginning, I have felt that she and Raffeale are involved and guilty but I cannot just imagine them pre-meditating a brutal murder without any conceivable motive. I have always thought that they tried to do something else fishy but ended up harming Meredith in some way (intentionally or unintentionally) and to hide it, they had to resort to clean up. So yeah, I can believe something like this. Or maybe, Guede was interested in Meredith and Amanda promised him she’d help him with it in exchange for weed and then when she tried to do so, it turned nasty. Can’t be sure but these theories fit her image a little better than the pre-meditated, she-devil theories. But the point is, irrespective of all our theories, she is free now and there seems to be very little anyone can do about it. Most people are disheartened and the only hope seems to be if she slips up or if Rugy Guede starts speaking, both of which seem unlikely. Sigh!!!!

      • Allison says:

        Or how about Guede met the gruesone twosome out on the street or in the piazza Grimana and went back to the cottage while Mez was still out. When Mez camoe home they were all stoned, a row broke out [we knoe that Mex was annoyed about the men and the mess], they began taunting her and it escalated from there

      • cjp says:

        Of course, nobody knows for sure, except those involved.
        My point in writing this was that most of the posters that I have read who favored innocence stated that they could not see her as conniving murderer. A planner, who deliberately planned and executed a murder. Faced with this “either-or” type decision, I believe many people said, “No way”, “Can’t see it”.
        I think presenting other theories shows motivation could have been from any number of things.
        She could have brought the knife along to cut the plants.
        “She’s flaky”, “Just Amanda being Amanda”. A harmless prank.

      • Sara says:

        @cjp, You are absolutely right of course and I think this is precisely what the prosecutors should have done rather than saying there was “no motive”. Like I have said before, telling the jurors that Amanda did it simply because she was a “she-devil” was never going to get them anywhere, especially with Amanda giving oscar worthy performances all the while sitting there. There are 100’s of scenarios in which it could have happened. All of us have been in situations where we have ended up in situations beyond our control (though none anywhere as sick or as heartless as this, I hope). The prosecutors should have made the jurors see that this was not such an unbelievable thing as it may seem to some. However, maybe they were tied due to their need to provide proof while all we have to do is simply speculate. Even if they had come up with alternate theories, I can see the supporters simply shaking their heads and saying “where’s the proof”. But all said and done, I don’t think presenting a few plausible, alternate scenarios would have harmed the prosecutors. If anything, it might have helped at least some brain-washed people see that there are scenarios in which it could have happened.

  23. Satya says:

    How very predictable! Now the judge (stupidly) seems to imply that they were reluctant sentence a young American so harshly. He makes references to the age of the defendants (poor kids as he calls them) and the harsh punishment that they would have to endure. It looks like with him you either take to crime young or not at all. Terrible!

  24. Peggy Ganong says:

    In reply to Diatom, Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times reported that in fact there was a “handful” of supporters at the airport and massive numbers of media people. I watched the KING live stream and the reporter, not knowing he could be heard, said they would have to dub in “crowd cheering” noises for the 6:30 newscast. Another local station used its weather chopper to follow the “motorcade” home. After seeing the live stream and noticing the sparse crowd (from applause), imagine my surprise when I heard it reported later that hundreds of supporters were on hand. Only if you count the media itself!

  25. Prufrock says:

    @ Ben:

    you say “…there’s good forensic evidence for one suspect, but no credible forensic evidence for the others who were supposedly equally involved.”

    a few weeks ago a black man was executed for killing a white cop, 22 years ago!

    NO dna, Ben! Zilch!

    No EVIDENCE apart from 8 so called testimonies, 6 of which apparently were prepared by the police!

    No appeal, unlike Italy! No death sentence like the USA.

    Knox should say a little prayer to Bongiorno and Mr Sollecito Snr for her freedom – if you know what I mean.

  26. Prufrock says:

    @cjp:

    you suggest: “She’s injured, she struggling and there is no way anybody is going to be able to explain this away, unless…..”

    I’m with you. Remember, Guede would say at his trial that he wished he had called the ambulance and done more to help Meridith.

    I actually believe that this was a joke that just got out of control and that the only way out was murder.

    One thing that twirls in my brain is why would a person not flush the toilet leaving all evidence of being there? But more interetingly, why would an innocent person with no knowledge of a murder NOT flush the toilet? I can’t bear to relieve myself in a public toilet unless it’s flushed let alone leaving an unflushed toilet in my own house?

    And the blood on the floor? Why didn’t she clean it up?

    Remember, drove all the way from S’s house to get a mop to mop up WATER, but you don’t clean up blood from your own house?

    • Allison says:

      Hi Prufrock, one of the complaints the girls had about Knox was actually the whole flushing issue [i.e. she didn't do it often enough]. I would imagine the reason she left the faeces in the toilet is that his DNA would implicate him and she knew that.

      I’ve been reading some really old articles on this case today and I can’t believe that so much evidence was simply ignored. The things she said in the Police Station to the other girls [about Mez bleeding to death], the lies she told in her interviews. The fact that she said she was actually at the scene of the crime, the phone call to Edda [Edda actually asked her why she called her when nothing had happened at that time].

      They know what they did, so do their families. She’ll have to be very careful about who she befriends from now on, this will follow her around for the rest of her life, she will have to explain it all to her own children who will be free to read blogs such as these on the web. I sincerely hope that she thinks of Mez and Mrs Kercher the day she holds her own child in her arms.

    • cjp says:

      @Prufrock

      Each of us has apparently had a moment where we have each slid over the edge from maybe, itno almost absolute certainty in this sad case. It wasn’t any one thing, but the totality presented.
      For me, one of the things that really pushed me was the first phone call to her mother, that she still apparently doesn’t remember.
      During times of stress we usually automatically seek comfort, seek balance. That she would not remember this particular call, at this particular time, to me says volumes.

      • Sara says:

        I agree. I have thought about this case so much that I had started getting headaches in the night. I truly wanted to believe that she did not do it. It makes me sick to think that Meredith died at the hands of someone whom she trusted (atleast to an extent). I would much rather be it some burglar who did it to avoid getting caught. But no matter how much I try to explain away things, how much I try to buy the supporters’ alternate explanations, it just does not fit. Initially when the postal police went inside the flat, she claimed that Meredith always locks her door and there was no need to worry. However, in the email she later sent to her friends, she claims she banged on Meredith’s door, started panicking, tried to look into her window through the balcony and RS even tried to break her door. If they were that worried, why did they not mention it to the postal police. Agreed that she may have felt she was overreacting and hence avoided telling them initially. But even when asked specifically, she apparently said it was perfectly normal. It was Filomena who contradicted her and forced the police to break open the door. Why the blatant lie? It is such a senseless thing to do unless you are afraid of something. Same with the blood on the sink etc. She claims she thought someone had cut themselves or it was menstrual blood. How can those things possibly lead to a bloody footprint? Even if we believe her naivety, she apparently brushed her teeth etc in the sink. If you see some small spots of blood there for which you think there is an innocent explanation, would’t you just pour some water over it when you finish cleaning yourself? The blood and feaces was there for all to see. I think she was trying to preserve any evidence which would point to Guede in the hope that the police would buy the burglar theory and start looking for him. In the meantime, she and RS could give their statements and leave the country before he was caught. (Again, we must remember that contrary to popular opinion she did not stay back to help the police, rather she stayed back because she was asked not to leave). I think it is realistic to assume that she was not aware of Guede’s DNA already being in police records and hence she thought it might take some time to catch him, especially if she knew he was on the run.

  27. Satya says:

    Wow! Knox’s family invites Solecito to spend time with them in Seattle! What for? for standing by her?

    I can draw one conclusion from this gesture:

    Knox was the one who killed Meredith and sought Solecito’s promise not to spill beans. Being a shy man besotted with Amanda he suffered the pain of 4 years of incarceration just to save her!!

    What a loser! he won’t come to much in life

  28. Satya says:

    Interesting that the US press lauded the police for convicting Scott Peterson (the guy who killed his pregnant wife) based purely on psychological profiling and circumstantial evidence (no DNA), but now change tune in this case. Hypocrisy!

  29. Johnny says:

    Hi, Been following this case on and off since the murder – and have just recently found this blog. Let me say that you are doing a fantastic job and people appreciate it. After Mondays verdict you sometimes doubt humanity.
    I really want to get my understanding right and Ben’s post does raise an issue – why was Guede’s DNA left but not Sollecito’s and Knox’s. Should their DNA not have been on the body as well if they were wrestling and holding Meredith down?
    Thanks for your help,
    Johnny

    • Prufrock says:

      @ Johnny:

      you ask: “why was Guede’s DNA left but not Sollecito’s and Knox’s. Should their DNA not have been on the body as well if they were wrestling and holding Meredith down?”

      I say, what if the murder occurred outside of her bedroom and whilst she was fully dressed? The DNA would have been on her clothing, yes?

      The same clothing that were found in the washing machine by the Postal Police. Who put them in the washing machine?

      What if Guede was fooled into being the only person to transfer M into her bedroom? It could also explain why there was no K/S’s DNA too.

      And what was K’s lamp shade doing under the bed?

      But what is really curious is the fact the forensics could not find any traces of K’s fingerprints within the entire house.

      • Sara says:

        @Prufrock, I can see where you are coming from but honestly speaking, I am still puzzled. This is something that has had me wondering too several times and I can’t say I have any valid theories. Like you say, it is perfectly possible that AK and RS’s dna was on Meredith’s clothes and to get rid of it, they put her clothes into the washing machine. This is certainly in line with the fact that Meredith’s clothes were found freshly laundered in the washing machine and also that her clothes were removed after she was dead. However, the reason I am not fully convinced with this theory is because many of Meredith’s blood soaked clothes were found in and around the body. If they were trying to wash her clothes to get rid of evidence, why would they leave some around? And also, I have certainly not heard that the blood soaked clothes that were found around the body were different from what Meredith was wearing the previous night (easy enough to confirm if you ask her friends) which makes me think that the clothes that were found around her body were the same that she was wearing the previous night. If that is the case, then the washing machine theory does not fit. Because it would mean that Meredith changed her clothes, then she was murdered, the murderers took her clothes and put it for washing, took the other clothes that she was wearing previously, got blood over them and spread them around. Overcomplicating much?? I am pretty sure these two were involved and I wish someone would explain this to me. I believe this “selective cleanup” (along with no motive) is one of the major trump cards for the supporters. cjp has outlined a pretty plausible and probable theory for motive just above. Maybe Maundy or someone else can throw light on their thoughts for this lack of DNA in Meredith’s room.

  30. cjp says:

    Sara, you’re right about headaches, and heartaches for that matter.
    I thought that the whole thing stunk to high heaven when I began to read. I never had the stomach for reading the autopsy report (if it is available), but the lack of ALL DNA surprised me. Particularly since this was supposed to be a sexual assault. Guede left traces 3 places that I recalll. One on Meredith’s sleeve, on in her body and a handprint on the wall?
    He said their meeting was consensual. What? No kissing? No trace.
    This lack of physical evidence including Meredith’s fingernails
    led me to believe she was held down by others to begin with.
    Perhaps they had gloves on when they came in. It WAS cold that night.

    • Sara says:

      You are right. Maybe its something as simple as wearing gloves to protect themselves from the cold which later came in handy. It certainly fits in with the fact that there were hardly any fingerprints of Amanda found anywhere in the flat (while on the other hand her DNA was found in several places mixed with Meredith’s just because she was “living there”). While the lack of DNA/finger prints is puzzling in a way, it certainly points to a cleanup/gloves because her fingerprints were not even found in places where you would expect them to be definitely found. And its not surprising if Guede was not wearing gloves since he hardly seems the type and moreover he may not even have had the money to purchase them. Also, if it happened like anything close to the theory that you outlined before, then it hardly seems surprising that Guede’s DNA is found as he would be the one involved in the actual sexual assault. So, yeah, whichever way you think about it (even with all the speculations and inaccuracies), it still points to the same thing. I don’t know if the autopsy report is available to the public but there is quite a big section on the nature of attack and injuries in the Massei report on the truejustice website and also a summary of analysis. However, they are rather disturbing to read and if you are anywhere as bothered about this case as I am, I recommend not reading it.

  31. Anony Mouse says:

    Let’s recall that Guede’s Supreme Court case ruled that 3 people were involved in the murder. The appeals court has now ruled that RS and AK are innocent – so we are led to believe Guede plus 2 unidentified others are responsible.

    It leaves an unclear picture for the Kerchers of how their daughter met her brutal death. If 3 people are involved, who are the other 2 unidentified persons – who did not leave any evidence of themselves at the scene ?

    If Guede’s motivation that evening was sex and theft, he completed neither to a convincing degree. Meredith was manually assaulted the court ruled – she was not raped. Yet she was brutally murdered with 42 stab wounds and bruises. If Guede (+ others) were strong enough to kill her in such a manner, why was Guede (+ others) not strong enough to hold her down and complete the rape ?

    Items stolen from the flat included the missing rent money, Meredith’s 2 mobile phones and her credit cards. Nothing was stolen from Filomena’s trashed room ie. laptop, jewellery etc or from the rest of the flat. So Guede decided to take the mobile phones (which he then dumped), the credit cards (which he did not use) – we are left with the only useful item stolen being the missing rent money.

    So on this whole tragic evening, Guede (+ others) only achieves a manual assault of Meredith, and gets away with only a few minor stolen items – and he (+ others) were willing to brutally murder Meredith for what appears to be little reward ? All on an evening when he gambled that none of the residents of this flat might come home at any moment ?

    Also, at the point Meredith let out her fatal scream (which a few neighbours heard), Guede (+ others) would have surely bolted from the flat – leaving them no time to steal any items, trash Filomena’s room, move Amanda’s lamp into Meredith’s room, cover her dead body with the duvet and then lock Meredith’s bedroom door.

    Also, at some point Guede took a dump in Filomena’s bathroom – indicating he had time to use the bathroom. This suggests he was initially in the flat under normal circumstances, as what kind of rapist/thief has enough time to casually use the bathroom ? But then he inexplicably does not flush – indicating panic or that he forgot…

    Its hard to accept Guede as such a bumbling thief/rapist who achieved neither to a satisfactory degree – and who put most of his effort that night into brutally murdering her. The 42 wounds indicate a desire to more than just kill her – there seems a humilation and revenge factor in the killing.

    The Kerchers do not have an adequate answer of how their daughter was murdered

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